Wheeling Jesuit University Names Scholarship in Bishop Bransfield’s Honor

WHEELING—In recognition of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield’s 10th anniversary as bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, a scholarship, offered to graduates of Catholic high schools in West Virginia, will now bear his name at Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU).

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Tim Bishop Photo

In recognition of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield’s 10th anniversary as bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, a scholarship offered to West Virginia Catholic high school graduates, will now bear his name at Wheeling Jesuit University. Shown with Bishop Bransfield, are three current WJU students who received the scholarship. From left to right are: Alexa Frankovich from Madonna High School in Weirton; Bishop Bransfield; Katie Pulliam from Charleston Catholic High School in Charleston; and Ben Szeligo from Central Catholic High School in Wheeling.

Ten years ago, when Bishop Bransfield arrived in West Virginia, one of his priorities was to improve Catholic education in the diocese. Wheeling Jesuit will recognize his commitment to education by naming a university scholarship in his honor.

“Bishop Bransfield has been a powerful advocate of education at all levels during his first decade of service to the people of our state. His commitment to providing access to Catholic education speaks volumes of his passion for learning and the importance of the connection between faith and reason. We know of no better way to recognize his contribution to Catholic education than by naming our scholarship, offered to graduates of the seven Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the Bishop Michael J. Bransfield Scholarship,” said Father James Fleming, SJ, president of WJU.

“Because the diocese and WJU partner in so many ways to advance educational opportunities in West Virginia, I am very grateful for this honor. I look forward to the continued success of Wheeling Jesuit, and for our Catholic high school graduates who attend the university. I thank their talented president, Father Jim Fleming, for his dedication and service here in West Virginia,” Bishop Bransfield said.

This academic year, nearly $1 million in institutional aid has been offered to the 77 current Bishop Bransfield Scholars already on campus and those accepted for next year’s freshman class. This group of students represents all seven of the diocesan high schools.

“The Bransfield Scholarship provides students with the financial assistance to continue their education at the only Catholic institution of higher learning in West Virginia,” said Dustin Jarrett, dean of Undergraduate Admissions at WJU.

Students eligible for the scholarship are graduates from one of the seven Catholic high schools across the state.

“We are grateful that Wheeling Central students and students at all the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Catholic high schools have the opportunity to receive the Bishop Bransfield Scholarship. This scholarship provides students with the financial support to continue their Catholic education at Wheeling Jesuit University,” said Becky Sancomb, principal at Central Catholic High School in Wheeling.

For 2015, Wheeling Jesuit has received 46 applications for the Bishop Bransfield Scholarship.

“Improving the quality of Catholic education is just one of the ways the bishop has fulfilled his promise made 10 years ago. All of us in education have benefitted from his commitment and we are grateful for his leadership,” said Father Denis Donaghue, SJ, associate vice president for Academic Affairs.

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